Every chess player places great value in tricks, traits and characteristics that help him or her become a better chess player. Among a long list of things needed to do and not to do, is to keep your hands away from any piece on your chess board. At least, until you know exactly what move you want to make. The habit where you grab a piece and then let it go, or even the nervous twitching of a piece, aids in indecisiveness and is not recommended.

As a matter of fact, when it comes to tournaments, a simple rule has it that if you touch a piece, then you have no choice but to move it. Of course it has to be a legal move. Casual chess games are less stringent when it comes to such rules, but it’s essentially a good habit to observe tournament rules and habits at all times.

A few reasons to maintain a hands-off approach are as follows:

  • Prepare for Serious Play

Participating in a chess tournament in the near future might not be in your immediate plans. However, supposing you did decide later on to do so. Should that event occur, it would much easier to observe and adjust to any stringent move or touch rule, if you already practice this in your less formal game playing. Observing a no-touch practice is a minor habit, but of great value in your chess playing career in the long run.

  • Confusion Stays Away

It’s often unclear when a player has made a move or is still considering doing so when his hands are always on his or her pieces. Should both players have this habit, it becomes difficult to determine who made the last move, or even whose turn it is to make a move. This is one of the reasons that chess instructors working with children who are new to the game, drum into them the simple rule: learn to let go of the piece after you move and do not touch one until your opponent lets go of theirs.

  • Focus on Your Opponent’s Last Move

New players, and especially children and beginners, have a basic predicament in tunnel vision when planning moves. Excitement ranges over moves such as captures and checks notwithstanding what the other player is doing in the meantime. Big mistakes often result, but with your hands off the pieces, one is able to concentrate on the opponent’s current and prospective moves.

  • Allows You To Ponder More Alternatives

A player may grab a piece and then claim they are still checking on everything before they make the move. It could be a legitimate consideration, but it’s natural to concentrate on the piece you have touched or grabbed in comparison to the others. The moment you touch or grab a piece, your mindset makes it the “default” decision which might cost you in the long run if it was the wrong strategic move.

Consider everything before you touch or grab a piece in any chess game. It will be the habit that wins or loses you a game.